Sikh couple kicked out of theater due to religious item
EMERYVILLE, CA - A Sacramento man said he and his wife were asked to leave a movie theater because company policy considers his religious item a weapon.
Manjot Singh took his wife to see Man of Steel at an Emeryville AMC theater Saturday night. When he went to buy snacks, he saidsecurity guards watched him closely for several minutes.
Then, a manager approached him.
"He's like 'I understand you're carrying a weapon.' And you know I say, 'I have an article of faith, a religious symbol, it's not a weapon.' And he says, 'Yeah, I know all about Sikhs, but we have a zero-tolerance policy so I'm going to have to ask you to leave or relinquish your weapon,'" Singh described.
Singh said he was wearing his kirpan underneath his shirt, out of sight. A kirpan is a short cermonial dagger worn by baptized Sikhs and is one of five articles of faith worn by Sikhs.
An AMC spokesperson confirms the company asked Singh to leave because of the policy, but he said a security guard and the manager saw the kirpan unsheathed.
AMC released the following statement regarding the incident:
"Our 'no weapons' policy prohibits guests from carrying weapons of any kind into our theatres. This national policy is for the safety and security of our guests and staff. The person in question was approached when our security team noticed the guest was wearing an approximately 5-1/2 inch unsheathedknife, in clear violation of our rules. We stand by our policy, as this matter is about the weapon alone and not at all about religious freedoms. The safety and security of all our guests and associates is our duty and responsibility, and we take it very seriously."
AMC said the manager asked Singh to follow the policy, or leave. Singh maintained he was carrying a religious item, not a weapon.
"I was surprised, not only did our night get ruined, but it felt kind of really racist, the way we were treated and kind of kicked out," Singh said.
AMC gave Singh a refund, but he hopes the company will apologize and change the policy to allow religious items like a kirpan into their theaters.